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rejudice from our eyes, till we come to see the King in his beauty, and hold the land which is afar off. Pride, however, shuts us out from this. he first lesson we have to learn is to think little of ourselves. Then nd only then can we receive Christ as our all. “ Except ye be conerted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of leaven.'
2. Humility is essential to the growth of the Soul in holiness and grace.
All true spiritual progress is the work of God. Of ourselves we an do nothing. The more humble we are, the more readily shall we realize and accept this our real position, and in doing so shall be induced to look to God for help and guidance. Hence we read that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. We cannot, therefore, receive grace at all, unless we be humble. Man is as clay in the hand of the potter. If he do not yield to the power and grace of God, how can He fashion him after His own will? Humility, then, prepares us to feel our inability to do any good thing of ourselves, and to look for all in God.
3. Humility opens the pathway to honour and glory. The first honour which is put upon the humble spirit is enjoyed here below. The Most High graciously condescends to come and dwell with him (Isa. lvii. 15). His heart becomes the abode of His God, and His body the temple of the Holy Ghost.
This strikingly contrasts with the experience of Nebuchadnezzar, who
, boasting of Great Babylon as the work of his own hands, and the espression of his own honour and glory, was cast out from his kingdom, to dwell with the beasts of the earth (Dan. iv. 30–33). God declares that He will put honour on them that honour Him. Hence the prophets of old, when they told and interpreted dreams or foretold things to come, took no credit to themselves, but gave the glory to God. The miraculous power which the Apostles exerted was associated with a recognition of the name of Christ. Thus Peter and John, after the lame man had been healed, disclaimed all power in themselves
. When the people of Lystra took Paul and Barnabas for gods, and would have worshipped them, they restrained them with eagerness, declaring that they were but men like themselves. And even the
Son of God Himself attained to the highest glory through His humility, "He kumbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Hima name which is above every name : that at the name of Jesus every
knee and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ 16 Lord, to the glory of God the Father." So God promises to honour them that honour Him, and to give a place in His kingdom now, and to recognise hereafter, those who
come to Him with broken spirit, and serve Him with humble heart. The proud Pharisee might boast of his good works, his fasting and his tithes ; but the heartbroken publican who, standing afar off
not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner,
down to his house justified rather than the other : ... he that humi himself shall be exalted.” Be ye therefore clothed with humility.
4. Humility is associated with the purest happiness.
Mr. Ruskin says, “ The peculiar characters of the grass, which a it especially for the service of man, are its apparent humility cheerfulness. Its humility, in that it seems created only for lo service, appointed to be trodden on, and fed upon. Its cheerfuli in that it seems to exult under all kinds of violence and suffer You roll it, and it is the stronger the next day; you mow it, and it i tiplies its shoots, as if it were grateful; you tread upon it, and it sends up richer perfume. Spring comes, and it rejoices with all the ea glowing with variegated flame of flowers, waving in soft depth of frui soil. Winter comes, and though it will not mock its fellow-plant growing then, it will not pine and mourn, and turn colourless or less as they. It is always green, and is only the brighter and g for the hoar-frost.” So humility in man helps him to maintain a sere and calmness amidst all the storms of life. It makes him feel know his true position, gives him a just and correct estimate of self, directs him to look for everything out of himself in Jesus Ch and thus brings to him the peace of God which passeth all understi
What strong motives then have we to urge us to humility! Like grass we shall soon perish. “All flesh is grass.” Like the grass, ti let us train our spirits to humility and cheerfulness. Our dwell place is in the dust, and soon, whatever now our position and circ stances, we shall lie low in the earth. Of what then have we tu proud ? Whatever we have is the gift of Divine grace and goodn If we are better situated than others; if we are more blest than fellow-men; if we are more highly privileged than many, it is not to ourselves, “Who maketh thee to differ from another, and what i thou that thou didst not receive ?” Above all, the Lord Himself, 1 highest of all beings, sets us the example of humility. Though dwelli in eternal glory, He clothed himself in human flesh. Though He was r for our sakes he became poor. Though being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet He made himself of reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the l ness of men. And though He was holy, pure, and perfect, yet He made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Ł Be ye therefore clothed with humility.
HOSPITALITY WITHOUT GRUDGING. One morning a poor man came to ness, much as he tried to restrain jur house to sell my father a cow.
himself. He had walked five miles through “Give him a good price for his the snow, and looked very tired. He cow, father," I whispered, as I was sorry to part with his cow, but pulled his sleeve when he was passsaid they had all been sick this fall, ing through into the dining-room. ind he was obliged to do so in order “How much are you willing to o get food for his children through deny yourself_for the sake of his he winter. He looked far from poor family, Pussy P" he asked, strong, and I pitied him. But my pinching my cheek softly. mother did more than that. She “ About five shillings, I think, came into the kitchen, where I was father." paring potatoes for our dinner, and “All right, then," he said, giving said:
me one of his own quiet laughs in "Just wash your hands, Edith,
the corner of his grey eyes. and get out the little waiter; put a
My father does not beat a poor plate of biscuits on it, while I heat man down in his prices. I believe up this coffee; now you may put on
he does business just as he thinks a little plate of butter, a piece of
the Lord would approve if He were mince-pie, and some bread. I will standing by. If there is one lesson of cut off some beef from the outside of my childhood which I shall never this roast, as it is nice and brown. forget, it is this : of being kind to Now all is ready but the coffee, and
He made his bargain that will boil in a minute or two with the man, and when he counted over the hot coal fire. Take it in out the money, he laid a five-shilling now, and put it on the little stand piece on the top, and said : before Mr. Weaver. I know it will “ There is a Christmas gift for do him good; I dare say they live
your little ones.” poorly this hard winter.”
The poor man burst into tears. I felt sorry for the man, but it After a while he said : took my good mother to do all this “Mr. Gray, I always heard you for his comfort. She always offers were a good man to the poor, but I refreshment to persons stopping never expected such treatment as I here, who she thinks would be the have had here to-day. May the
I never knew my Lord reward you a hundred-fold ! mother's cupboard so empty, that
If you will let me, miss, I'll take there was not something in it for these cakes you have set for me the needy. I don't believe there is home to my little Jane. I wouldn't a poor child in the town who has be so bold, but she has been poorly Dot had cause to remember it one ever since she got over the sickness, time or another. They like to come and yesterday she was crying for to our house on errands.
one of these very cakes.” It did my heart good to see the “ Take them and welcome,” I said, pleased look on the poor man's face.
“and I will send her a paper of them
besides.” hardly knew what to say at first. But
was so great that he I did not wait long in the room after
It did not take my mother long to placing it before him, as I thought
fill up the largest basket she had left to himself. He looked over the he could eat more comfortably if family,
better for it.
not forgetting some especial dainties in one corner for the sick child.
waiter with a real famine-like eager
“ We can do without cake till next baking day," she said, as she emptied the whole panful into the basket.
I knew that poor family would have one good meal that winter, and I would eat potatoes and salt for dinner for a week, for the sake of the pleasure it gives me every time I think of it. Father hailed a cart which was passing, and got the man
a ride almost to his home, He went away with a different look from that which he wore when he came in.
When I have a home of my own, I mean to use hospitality just as my mother does. I wish there were more housekeepers "given” to it
, as she is. I am sure that poor family will not soon forget her; and I think, after all, we have the most happiness in it.
"LET LOVE BE WITHOUT DISSIMULATION."
(Romans xii. 9.)
BY THE REV. A. M. STALKER.
In other words, “ Let Love be unfeigned.” How strangely the command would sound in an unfallen world! It would scarcely be understood. “ Ignorance” is sometimes “bliss." Intelligence is sometimes humiliating, and is never more profoundly felt by an ingenuous mind to be so, than when listening to Paul's present exhortation. The exhortation is called for, else it would not be given. The history of its necessity is a comment on part of sin's doings in our world. It has polluted what was pure in the human soul. It has generated insincerity, and taught men the art of making masks for it Nathanael's fingers were never soiled by such employ. He needed no mask. He could afford to be transparent, JESUS Himself being Judge: “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile." Paul wished his brethren in Rome, and his brethren in Philippi, to be like him, “sincere and without offence."* We ask,
FIRST.—WHAT IS THE LOVE TO WHICH PAUL REFERS ? It is unquese tionably benevolence, good-will to all men. There is no exclusive allusion, here, to “ the love of the brethren." That is enjoined in the following verse, “ Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love,” Paul is at one with Peter, when he says, “Add to brotherly kindness charity." Cherish a disposition that will find its delight in making all men happy. Feel kindly towards all, and thus
your will “ be without dissimulation.”
SECONDLY.-How IS LOVE OR KINDLINESS FEIGNED ? reality is sometimes feigned. Kindliness is expressed when it is not felt—when in the bosom it has no existence. A sign is hung, out when-were the warehouse of the soul "searched with lighted candles ”--the goods it indicates could not be found. There they have no place. The man deliberately deceives. He wears a face which does not belong to him. His two faces make him a moral
* Phil, i. 10.
honster. Were the heart and the countenance to change places, the nan, as he is, would be seen. The lustre with which his looks and bearng seem radiant, is assumed ; it is not kindliness; it is not the outcome of " the hidden man of the heart.” It feigns. It dissembles. 2. The intensity of kindliness is sometimes simulated. Kindly feeling may have place; but, if not infinitesimally small, there is as little as there can possibly well be, in order to its having existence at all. Were the tiny amount avowed, however slight an estimate we might form of the man’s genial nature, we should say,“ Well, he is at least candid.” He is honest, and that, in this make-believe world, is something. He is cutting only according to his cloth. His window shows no finer article than is in stock. The sound of the trumpet echoes musically in the man's soul. He professes only what he possesses. We like him—but we don't find him every day. Upright merchandise is rare. Terms of exaggeration are in frequent request. They clothe themselves in huge capitals that stand for far less than their own size. So is it
, often, as to professed kindly feeling. Adjectives are piled one on another to indicate its glowing fervour. One of the least significance would suffice to tell the true figure on the scale at which the emotion stands. The superlative is sonorously used-and with various emphasis-where the simple positive would be quite enough. All beyond it is ungenuine, misleading, “sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.” It affects a glow in the man's heart which, put in plain words, is the next remove from a chill. Kindliness exists, but its intensity is overstated. The degree avowed is at war with that indicated on the thermometer of the soul. It feigns. It dissembles. THIRDLY.—IN WHAT WAY IS FEIGNED LOVE OR KINDLINESS TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR ? 1. It proceeds sometimes from counterfeit politeness. Politeness is a gem. It cannot be too highly prized. The danger is not in over-estimating its worth, but in misunderstanding its nature. Wherein does it consist? Certainly not in what is conventionally known as etiquette. Etiquette is literally “ forms of ceremony or decorum.” It is a kind of artificial humanity. Yet a man who does not possess it is, in some circles, called
boorish. It may exist without any soul. Its beginning, middle, and ending may be mere buckram-a skilful collocation of a precise amount of starch; but it is often deemed a sine qua non if an individual would be welcomed as an agreeable member of society. Hence the popularity it has attained, and the place it holds in the category of things to be worn.
To make it fit the wearer, is not always easy. Then dissimulation lends its aid-kindliness is feigned. No sincerer man than Paul ever lived, and yet, perhaps, a more polite man was never found. He emphatically illustrated his brother Peter's injunction, “ Be courteous.” For what is politeness? Not a mere “ceremony, but “ benevolence in little things." It is genial emotion concerning itself in trifles with something like resistless charm. You, perhaps, know a man who is a stranger to etiquette, but who “ lives, and moves, and has his being” in the element of kindliness. His fustian jacket, his bluff look, his brawny hands, present visible harmony between